Pole Beans and New Potatoes

In the Lowcountry pole beans are any of a number of varieties of snap beans that are larger than everyday green beans. Kentucky Wonders are a favorite variety. Try to find tender beans that do not have a heavy “string”; they will cook in the same amount of time as the potatoes. There was a time when pole beans were boiled all day; it is not necessary with the delectable modern hybrids.

This simple recipe produces delicious results; it always surprises the first- time cook. Note the small amount of water; the beans sit in the water, but the potatoes steam.


  • 2 pounds pole beans
  • 2 pounds of small new potatoes
  • 1 smoked ham hock, about ½ pound
  • cup water


String the beans. Peel the potatoes or cut them in half. Put the beans in the bottom of a heavy saucepan. Add the potatoes, hock, and water. Simmer, covered, until the potatoes are done, 30 to 45 minutes.